Caribbean with Simon Reeve, TV review: You can't begrudge the guy, because he's just too nice

Reeve seemed genuinely angered by the raw deal handed out to the people of the Caribbean by their bigger, bullying neighbour to the north

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The Independent Culture

The second Brit abroad of the evening is in no danger of getting stuck in a rut.

Simon Reeve has made travel programmes in some seriously insalubrious places, thousands of miles from the nearest 5-star spa hotel. But now he’s arrived in the beautiful Dominican Republic on the first leg of Caribbean with Simon Reeve, so however much he bangs on about “seeing the other side of paradise”, this has the definite whiff of a jolly. The thing is, you can’t begrudge Smiley Simon, his cushy cruise ship cabin or his rum cocktail at the drive-thru bar (the DR, unsurprisingly, is rated the world’s most dangerous place to drive), because he’s so very nice.

It wasn’t just that he profusely thanked everyone he met, however minor their contribution to his trip, it was how he seemed genuinely angered by the raw deal handed out to the people of the Caribbean, first by colonial rulers and more recently by their bigger, bullying neighbour to the north.

On a visit to Puerto Rico, he learned how the island had been used as a weapons testing ground by the American military, with little care for the people living there. After observing an unexploded bomb during a scuba dive, Reeve spluttered indignantly, to no one in particular, “Look how close we are to the coast! People fish in these waters!”

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